Another in a potential series of design entries related to expressing a Gamma World type of setting in my “dream game” mechanics. Some general thoughts related to economic systems were related here. As always, any feedback is welcomed.
The number of possible transportation methods of transportation in a Gamma World style setting nearly beggars the imagination. Again, part of the intended progression of the game will be to enable the character to obtain and operate ever more advanced equipment… but in this case especially, I want to make most of the options available in some form or another almost from the very start.
Personal: You have the usual walking/running stuff, of course. The mutations and potential psionic abilities add potential options for personal flight, short-range teleportation, and so on.
Beasts: A variety of different beasts of burden with a range of abilities, potentially based on concepts like Podogs (intelligent riding mastiffs) or Centisteeds (horses with 12-18 legs), or even stranger imaginings. A variety of beast-drawn vehicles should be possible as well.
Wind-driven: sailing ships and balloons/dirigibles are the obvious options, but other more fanciful entries could exist in certain environments as well. Sail-boards (and sail-cars?) for traversing wind-whipped prairies and deserts, for example.
Self-powered vehicles: skateboards, bicycles, tricycles… Segways? (heh).
Petroleum-burning vehicles: motorcycles, cars, trucks, etc. I’m assuming these would be mainly post-Cataclysm inventions, actually.
Ancient vehicles: jetpacks, gravcars, maglev cargo platforms, and even powered armors and military vehicles of various capabilities. Power sources could be a variety of different styles of batteries (solar, chemical, etc), hydrogen-burning fuel cells, “micro-fusion” reactors, whatever sci-fi-tech concepts seem to work…
Ancient Mass Transit: I’m thinking cross-continental maglev subways as a big part of this setting. Part of the gameplay at the community level over time could be to discover, unearth, and re-activate various stations/terminals spread across the countryside, offering very fast transport across large distances on a regular schedule. Helping to maintain the infrastructure of the Tubes could be an ongoing side activity as well.
Other Ancient mass-transit systems such as automated sub-orbital or orbital flights, perhaps with stop-overs at orbital stations, might be an interesting possibility as well. (That’s about as far as I want to go, tho. I’m definitely shying away from having ubiquitous teleportation technologies in this setting.)
The general concept would be allow the player to interact with most of the above from the get-go, leaving aside perhaps the petroleum-burning and Ancient vehicles except as loaners from others.
Instead, I was thinking that part of the challenge for the player would be to be able to afford to operate, and perhaps maintain, whatever modes of transportation they chose to use. Beasts will need to be kept sheltered and fed (to varying extents); vehicles need fuel/energy and maintenance; even the mass-transit options will have a cost to utilize, and maintenance (as a communal effort) will be required to keep them running.
In addition, there would be skill-based limitations on the use/operation of many of the forms of travel (Voyages being a skill-based/usage-driven design, as opposed to class-based/XP-level-driven). Skills and techniques would govern the level of control and basic speeds (safely) attainable… wrecking the community pickup truck on a joy ride probably isn’t the best idea for making friends and influencing people (could be a decent quest hook, tho…)
Certain objects may require an expenditure (or an act of “heroism”) in order to lay a claim to full ownership, even if the character is the one that unearths/obtains it, depending upon the circumstances. Having the only operational jetcopter or gravcar in the entire region, and not allowing others to use it on occasion, should logically create some potential “issues” with local governments and even the populace at large…
Anyway, those are some of the general concepts I’d be leaning toward for the GW setting. Any comments or concerns?